Pinky (1949)


“Miss Em told me to always be myself, not to pretend. You told me that after I marry you, there won’t be a Pinky Johnson anymore. How can I be myself if there’s no Pinky Johnson anymore? ” – Pinky Johnson

Number of Times Seen – 1 (5 Jun 2019)

Brief Synopsis – A light skinned black woman returns to her home in the South and is faced by prejudice while also dealing with the fact that she hid her true ethnicity from her fiancee.

My Take on it – This is yet another film that I can now add to the ever-growing list of films that I never had even heard of before finding out that it is a movie that garnered Oscar nominations for its performances.

This is a movie that is quite enjoyable especially since it tries to find a way to tackle the issue of racism in the South and works really well because it looks at things from a very different perspective than is usually seen in films.

Jeanne Crain does a wonderful job in this film, but it’s a bit of  stretch to actually believe that she is meant to be a very light skinned black woman.

This fact leads to many problems with the local townspeople including the way she was treated by an elderly woman with lots of money and the way that they deal with financial reparations along the way.

Crain garnered an Oscar nomination for Best Actress for her work here and was a worthy addition to the list of nominees.

Ethel Barrymore and Ethel Waters were both nominated for Oscars for Best Supporting Actress and the fact that they both were nominated in this category probably led to them cancelling each other out when the votes were made.

This film has a great climatic courtroom scenes that bring forth many interesting ideas.

It’s quite unfortunate tho that the film doesn’t find a way to focus more on those aspects of the story because they are so much more compelling to deal with and this would help make the film even better.

Bottom Line – Very enjoyable film that tries to tackle the race issue from a different perspective than usual.  It’s a bit unbelievable how Crain is meant to be a black woman, but the way that she is treated by the townspeople leads to much problems especially when dealing with the work she does for a wealthy old woman and it’s reparations. Crain still was able to garner a Best Actress Oscar nomination for her performance here.  Barrymore and Waters were both nominated for Best Supporting Actress at the Oscars for their work here, but they unfortunately probably cancelled one another out.  The climatic courtroom drama brings some some very interesting ideas and it’s too bad that the film doesn’t try and find a way to focus more on those aspects because it would have made this film even better. Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Lena Horne initially campaigned to play the title role in this movie (she was light enough to photograph “white”), but in the end, the movie studio felt white American audiences would feel more comfortable with a white actress, especially since love scenes with a white actor were involved. (From IMDB)

Rating – Globe Worthy (7/10)

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3 thoughts on “Pinky (1949)

  1. Pingback: Did They Get it Right? – Best Supporting Actress – Oscars 1949 | MovieRob

  2. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 1949 | MovieRob

  3. Pingback: Did They Get it Right? – Best Actress – Oscars 1949 | MovieRob

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